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Asana: A Modern Way to Improve Teamwork

Asana: A Modern Way to Improve Teamwork
    Asana's Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein, both of Facebook fame.

    Working as part of a team and staying connected while doing so is a challenge, and there have been few (if any) easy and reasonably-priced software solutions that handle it well. Until today.

    Asana has left beta and is now available to the general public. And it has a lot to offer.

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    This web application keeps teams in sync with what is essentially a shared task list. Here everyone can capture, organize, track, and communicate what they are working on, all with the bigger picture in mind. Skipping email conversations (which is a terrible way to have conversations anyway) and countless meetings to keep a team on track, Asana lets its users move more efficiently and effectively.

    Oh, and Asana is free for teams consisting of 30 people or less. In addition, Asana can be used with as many of these teams as you want.

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    How Asana Works

    By making the task the center of attention in Asana, the way teams look at productivity shifts. The tasks are basically smaller pieces of a much larger set of goals and get assigned to team members and tracked to completion within the web app. Asana allows users to:

    • Capture everything your team is planning and doing in one place. No more jumping from app to app. Everything is collected and lives in Asana.
    • Keep team members in the know. By seeing who is working on what and when, there is a distinction between what is and isn’t important as well as how much more work has to be done to reach the much larger goal.
    • Stay informed. You’ll get essential updates on progress without having to search through old email threads.

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      Why Choose Asana?

      While we’ve yet to put it through the paces here at Stepcase Lifehack — we’ll be doing so over the next 30 days — Asana itself has suggested the following:

      • “It’s ridiculously fast. Thanks to in-house “Luna” technology, Asana is as responsive and lightweight as a text editor. Plus, by obsessively minimizing the number of clicks required to get things done, along with powerful keyboard shortcuts, Asana lets you manage your most important information with ease.”
      • “It’s versatile. Asana is one tool for many uses – from simple to-do lists, to complex projects, and more. It doesn’t force a single workflow, so you can mold it to your own processes and style.”
      • “It’s for the individual, too. Asana is the place to organize your own task list. In doing so, you automatically communicate what you’re prioritizing and everything you’ve done. By being the tool that individuals are using day in and day out, the team as a whole can trust it as the source of truth. We think Asana becomes the best group productivity tool by also being the best personal productivity tool.”

      But don’t just take the company’s word for it. The video below offers the thoughts of some of the early beta testers:

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      Asana may be a new player on a crowded landscape, but with co-founders including Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and early Facebook employee Justin Rosenstein firmly behind it, this very well could be the web app that teams looking to improve their overall productivity have been searching for.

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      Mike Vardy

      A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

      Get What Matters Done by Scheduling Time Blocks What Everyone Is Wrong About Achieving Inbox Zero 4 Simple Steps to Brain Dump for a Smarter Brain Why Is Productivity Important? 10 Reasons to Become More Productive How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

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      Last Updated on November 26, 2019

      How to Motivate Yourself: 13 Simple Ways to Try Now

      How to Motivate Yourself: 13 Simple Ways to Try Now

      Who needs Tony Robbins when you can motivate yourself? Overcoming the emotional hurdle to get stuff done when you’d rather sit on the couch isn’t always easy. But unless calling in sick and waking up at noon have no consequences for you, it’s often a must.

      For those of you who never procrastinate, distract yourself or drag your feet when you should be doing something important, well done so far! But for the rest of you, it’s good to have a library of motivational boosters to move along.

      Despite your best efforts, passion, habits and a flow-producing environment can fail. In that case, it’s time to find whatever emotional pump-up you can use to get started.

      Whether you’re starting a business, trying to los weight or breaking a bad habit, you’ll learn how to motivate yourself with different techniques here:

      1. Go Back to “Why”

      Focusing on a dull task doesn’t make it any more attractive. Zooming out and asking yourself why you are bothering in the first place will make it more appealing.

      If you can’t figure out why, then there’s a good chance you shouldn’t bother with it in the first place.

      2. Go for Five

      Start working for five minutes. Often that little push will be enough to get you going.

      3. Move Around

      Get your body moving as you would if you were extremely motivated to do something. This ‘faking it’ approach to motivation may seem silly or crude but it works.

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      4. Find the Next Step

      If it seems impossible to work on a project for you, you can try to focus on the next immediate step.

      Fighting an amorphous blob of work will only cause procrastination. Chunk it up so that it becomes manageable. Learn how to stop procrastinating in this guide.

      5. Find Your Itch

      What is keeping you from working? Don’t let the itch continue without isolating it and removing the problem.

      Are you unmotivated because you feel overwhelmed, tired, afraid, bored, restless or angry? Maybe it is because you aren’t sure you have time or delegated tasks haven’t been finished yet?

      6. Deconstruct Your Fears

      I’m sure you don’t have a phobia about getting stuff done. But at the same time, hidden fears or anxieties can keep you from getting real work completed.

      Isolate the unknowns and make yourself confident, you can handle the worst case scenario.

      7. Get a Partner

      Find someone who will motivate you when you’re feeling lazy. I have a friend I go to the gym with. Besides spotting weight, having a friend can help motivate you to work hard when you’d normally quit.

      8. Kickstart Your Day

      Plan out tomorrow. Get up early and place all the important things early in the morning. Building momentum early in the day can usually carry you forward far later.

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      Having a morning routine is a good idea for you to stay motivated!

      9. Read Books

      Read not just self-help or motivational books but any book that has new ideas. New ideas get your mental gears turning and can build motivation. Here’re more reasons to read every day.

      Learning new ideas puts your brain in motion so it requires less time to speed up to your tasks.

      10. Get the Right Tools

      Your environment can have a profound effect on your enthusiasm. Computers that are too slow, inefficient applications or a vehicle that breaks down constantly can kill your motivation.

      Building motivation is almost as important as avoiding the traps that can stop it.

      11. Be Careful with the Small Problems

      The worst killer of motivation is facing a seemingly small problem that creates endless frustration.

      Reframe little problems that must be fixed as bigger ones or they will kill any drive you have.

      12. Develop a Mantra

      Find a few statements that focus your mind and motivate you. It doesn’t matter whether they are pulled from a tacky motivational poster or just a few words to tell you what to do.

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      If you aren’t sure where to start, a good personal mantra is “Do it now!” You can find more here too: 7 Empowering Affirmations That Will Help You Be Mentally Strong

      13. Build on Success

      Success creates success. When you’ve just won, it is easy to feel motivated about almost anything. Emotions tend not to be situation specific, so a small win, whether it is a compliment from a colleague or finishing two thirds of your tasks before noon can turn you into a juggernaut.

      There are many ways you can place small successes earlier on to spur motivation later. Structuring your to-do lists, placing straightforward tasks such as exercising early in the day or giving yourself an affirmation can do the trick.

      Bonus: Staying Motivated Forever

      The best way to motivate yourself is to organize your life so you don’t have to. If work is a constant battle for you, perhaps it is time to start thinking about a new job. The idea is that explicit motivational techniques should be a backup, not your regular routine.

      Here are some other things to consider making work flow more naturally:

      Passion

      Do things you have a passion for. We all have to do things we don’t want to. But if life has become a chronic source of dull chores, you’ve got a big problem that needs fixing.

      Not sure what your passion is to get you motivated? This will help you: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

      Habits

      You can’t put everything on autopilot. I’ve found putting a few core habits in place creates a structure for the day.

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      Waking up at the same time, working at the same times and having a similar productive routine makes it easier to do the next day.

      This guide will be useful for you if you’re looking to build good habits: Understand Your Habits to Control Them 100%

      Flow

      Flow is the state where your mind is completely focused on the task at hand. While there are many factors that go into producing this state, having the right challenge level is a big part.

      Find ways to tweak your tasks so they hover in that sweet spot between boredom and maddening frustration.

      Easily distracted and hard to focus? Here’s your solution.

      Final Thoughts

      With all these tips I’ve shared with you, now you know what to do when you’re feeling unmotivated.

      Find your passion and develop a positive mantra so when the next time negativity hits you again, you know how to stay positive and motivated!

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      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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